04/12/2010 11:00PM

Sadler busy in best possible way

Barbara D. Livingston
Line of David was the upset winner of the Arkansas Derby, giving his trainer, John Sadler, another Kentucky Derby contender.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Phone messages tend to pile up for the trainer with two Kentucky Derby hopefuls. A little before 5 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday, John Sadler was still catching up, returning unanswered calls from last weekend from the office at his Santa Anita barn.

"Sorry for the delay," said Sadler. "With all the traveling between here and Arkansas and some other stuff I had going on, things kind of got away from me."

Sadler was back and forth from his Southern California base to see Line of David upset the last Saturday at Oaklawn Park, giving the veteran trainer a second starter for the 136th Kentucky Derby and a remarkable fourth victory in a graded prep race toward the 2010 Derby.

:: DERBY 136:



Sidney's Candy, the speedy Jenny Craig-owned colt who is widely regarded as one of the top contenders for the May 1 Derby, already had knocked out the San Vicente, San Felipe, and for Sadler.

Sadler might well bag a fifth prep this coming weekend, although any impact figures to be nonexistent in regard to the Derby. Distorted Dave, a romping winner of a March 26 first-level allowance route at Santa Anita in his fourth and most recent start, arrived by plane Monday at Keeneland, where Sadler will send out the colt as one of the favorites Saturday in the Grade 2, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes.

Distorted Dave "ran really well in that last race, and we just thought the Lexington would be a logical next spot for him," said Sadler. "We haven't really looked past this race for him."

Even if he were to win the Lexington, Distorted Dave surely would fall short of the cutoff point for runners trying to make the Derby because he lacks any graded earnings. That's the case for most of the 3-year-olds expected for the Lexington, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race for which entries were to be drawn Wednesday.

Of the 10 or so horses considered likely to run, only a few have been credited with graded earnings, and they are all insignificant sums. So even armed with the $180,000 winner's share, the Lexington winner most likely will be excluded from a Derby that appears to be requiring at least $225,000 to make the field.

Besides Distorted Dave, other top contenders for the Lexington include Game on Dude for Bob Baffert, and Uptowncharlybrown, whose trainer, Alan Seewald, died unexpectedly Monday at age 62. Call Shot, Chief Counsel, Exhi, Kettle River, Krypton, Prince Will I Am, and Workin for Hops also are expected.

Seven lined up for Doubledogdare

A field of seven fillies and mares has been entered in the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race that anchors the 10-race Friday card. Funny Moon, Striking Dancer, and Starship Angel look like the top contenders in the Grade 3 race.

One race before the Doubledogdare, Rainbow View will make her first start of 2010, and her first for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, facing six opponents in a $66,000 classified turf allowance. Rainbow View was a multiple Group 1 winner in Europe for trainer John Gosden.

Besides the Lexington and Doubledogdare, the $100,000 Giant's Causeway (Saturday) and $150,000 Ben Ali (Sunday) round out the stakes schedule this week.

* Trainer Denis Roberson said he was compelled by racing officials to run Fearful Woman without hind shoes in the ninth race Sunday because the filly had been wearing shoes not permitted under Keeneland policy. Fearful Woman, racing against male rivals, wound up a creditable third at 13-1 in the 1 1/4-mile starter allowance.

* Calvin Borel is scheduled to have his first mount of the spring meet with Executive Sweet in the fourth race Thursday. Borel and other horsemen who winter at Oaklawn Park typically return to Kentucky at this time of year, getting reacclimated before business really picks up when the Churchill Downs spring meet begins.

* Woodford Reserve once again is selling limited-edition silver mint julep cups commemorating the Derby for $1,000 apiece. Proceeds from sales of the 73 cups will benefit diabetes research and care. More information is available at the website woodfordreservemintjulep.com.

* Tickets remain on sale for the second annual jockey karaoke competition set for Friday evening in the Keeneland Entertainment Center. The event benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.